For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The North American market witnessed positive market sentiments for Fluoroelastomer during Q1 2023, except for the first month when the Fluoroelastomer prices remained constant. A sharp increase in the prices was observed during February when the supply of semiconductors improved, and hence the industrial output of the automotive industry increased, which surged the consumption of Fluoroelastomer in the market. Furthermore, there was pent-up demand for automobiles in the market, which raised the demand for automobiles, in turn, increased Fluoroelastomer procurement. However, the growth momentum of the Fluoroelastomer market slowed down in March owing to the collapse of the two major banks in the country, which caused economic instability and negatively impacted the sales of automobiles. Hence, in the USA, the assessed price of Fluoroelastomer MV 30 was USD 34400/MT FOB USGC in March, which highlighted a rise of 19.8% in comparison to December.
The price of Fluoroelastomer rose consistently in the Asia-Pacific region during the first quarter of 2023, backed by resurgent downstream demand. As soon as the first quarter of the year started, the automotive industry showcased a surge in the market, which led to an increment in Fluoroelastomer procurement. Initially, the pace of growth in the automotive industry was slow as the industry was trying to recover from the losses in the past year; however, a hike was observed during February as the industrial output and sales of the automotive industry recovered significantly. However, as the quarter approached the end, the growth momentum of the automotive industry slowed once again owing to global economic instability. Hence, In Japan, the price of Fluoroelastomer MV 30 assembled at USD 38660/MT FOB Tokyo in March, which highlighted a price rise of 29.5% in comparison to December.
The Fluoroelastomer market showcased mixed sentiment in the European market. The Fluoroelastomer price fell in the first month of the quarter and then significantly increased in the following months. As China's market finally began to open more in February, Fluoroelastomer prices experienced a sharp increase. An enhanced semiconductor supply supported this increase. The output of the automobile industry expanded along with the supply of semiconductors, which led to a spike in the industry's demand for Fluoroelastomer. Also, there was an increase in automobile sales during the quarter due to pent-up demand in the European market, which ultimately led to an increase in inquiries for Fluoroelastomer. Hence, in Germany, the Fluoroelastomer MV 30 prices settled at USD 47720/MT FD Le Havre in March and indicated a price rise of 52.1% from December.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
Amidst fluctuating downstream demand from diverse industries, the market value of Fluoroelastomer in North America showed conflicting emotions in the fourth quarter of 2022. The demand for Fluoroelastomer from the downstream automotive and aerospace industries continued to be stagnant to weak throughout the quarter due to the unsteady growth of these sectors. Additionally, shifting production costs and upstream costs contributed to the altering market conditions for EPDM Rubber. Fluoroelastomer's price thus increased in October and decreased in the next two months. In the USA, Fluoroelastomer MV 30 was valued at USD 28724/MT FOB USGC in December, which was 5.4% less expensive than the price in September.
The fourth quarter of 2022 saw a further reduction in the market value of Fluoroelastomer in the Asia-Pacific region because of weak downstream demand and declining manufacturing costs. The demand for Fluoroelastomer from the downstream aerospace and automotive sectors decreased because of the market's lackluster performance in terms of sales and industrial output during the quarter. As the price of crude oil and natural gas fell, so did the cost of producing Fluoroelastomer, lowering the commodity's value in the domestic market. Consequently, Fluoroelastomer MV 30 was estimated to cost USD 19302/MT CFR Shanghai in December, which is 20.7% less than in September.
Amid sluggish downstream demand and falling manufacturing costs, the market value of Fluoroelastomer in the European market decreased even further in the fourth quarter of 2022. Due to the market's underwhelming performance in terms of sales and industrial output during the quarter, the demand for Fluoroelastomer from the downstream aerospace and automotive sectors declined. Fluoroelastomer's worth in the domestic market decreased as the cost of making it reduced along with the decline in the price of crude oil and natural gas. As a result, it was determined that Fluoroelastomer MV 30 would cost USD 32309/MT FD Hamburg in December, which is 10.5% cheaper than in September.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
Fluoroelastomer prices have fluctuated in the US market throughout the 3rd quarter due to high volatility in supply-demand dynamics. Fluoroelastomer prices declined sharply in the first two months of the quarter as the demand from downstream automotive and allied industries remained weak, culminating in sluggish offtakes. Meanwhile, production rates from 3M and other producers have been termed as firm resulting in stable supply dynamics. Market dynamics shifted the balance towards the end of the quarter as Fluoroelastomer prices rebounded in September 2022. In late Q3, demand from the downstream automotive industry increased, resulting in improved prices in the US market. There were speculations around rail strikes in several parts of the US. However, none came to fruition resulting in stable supply chains. Hence, as of September 2022, Fluoroelastomer prices were assessed at USD 32340 per MT on a FOB basis for grades with MV 25-61.
In Japan, Fluoroelastomer prices declined consistently in the first two months owing to weak demand sentiment and ample material availability. The first half of the third quarter also witnessed weak international demand for Japanese Fluoroelastomer. Market sentiment remained under pressure as the automotive output on the global level remained underwhelming. However, pricing sentiment changed in the later stages of the quarter on the back of stable demand in the domestic and international markets and constrained supply dynamics. Northeast Asia faced the wrath of several typhoons during September 2022, which majorly curtailed the supply chains of Japan, resulting in limited material availability in the market. Thus, as of September 2022, Fluoroelastomer prices were assessed at USD 45740 per MT on a FOB basis for grades with MV 25-40. In China, sluggish automotive output culminated in weak demand for Fluoroelastomers; thus, prices remained under pressure.
In Northwestern Europe, Fluoroelastomer prices seesawed during the third quarter of 2022. Prices declined sharply in the first two months owing to sluggish output rates from the automotive industry. The European region remained in the tight grip of inflation during the third quarter, following the previous quarter's trend. High energy prices, declining consumption rates, and a soft demand outlook culminated in growing speculations around a European recession. However, an increase in automotive sales in the second half of Q3 prompted demand for Fluoroelastomers in the automotive industry. An increase in demand from the downstream automotive caused spike in the prices. Thus, as of September 2022, Fluoroelastomer prices were assessed at USD 34920 per MT on FD basis for grades with MV 25-61.